By Kadia Blagrove , FashionnStyle Reporter | Jul 16, 2012 12:43 PM EDT
Last week, Ralph Lauren outraged politicians, with the fact that they manufactured their U.S. Olympian uniforms in China. Many firmly believe that the American team should be wearing all-American made garments. Senator Harry Reid fervently expressed his displeasure of the uniforms when he suggested that the American people should "put them in a big pile and burn them."
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It seems that over the weekend, a backlash against the backlash brewed. Editors voiced their opinion in defense of Ralph Lauren, making a point that not all Olympic apparel manufacturers sourced in the country of the athletes.
WWD's Bridget Foley declared her disgust with the comments made against the whole "Made in China" hoopla. She points out that Ralph Lauren, despite where the company may source, is one of America's most patriotic and leading powerhouses. "Most offensive, this professed outrage by members of Congress ignores the fact that Ralph Lauren the man is someone who declares his patriotism regularly, without embarrassment, and puts his money where his sentiments are - not just when the Olympics roll around," she wrote. "How many millions did Lauren plunk down a few years ago to restore the tattered Old Glory?" She ended with:
"To gorge like a pack of hungry rats on the notion that the USOC should reject sponsorship from an extremely generous, powerhouse American company because that company produces off-shore is counterproductive, trivializing a major economic issue into opportunistic, childish sound bites."
Nike, which provides athletic gear to athletes around the world, produces a lot offshore. Nike released the following statement: "The product we create for U.S. athletes at the Olympics is made in multiple countries, including the U.S."
America is not the only country wearing garments not made from its country. According to WWD, Spain's uniforms are made in Russia; Adidas, the official sportswear partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games, produces in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Turkey and many more countries; and even fashion designers outsource.
America is a multicultural nation full of goods produced from across the world. An unidentified manufacturing exec told WWD, "[Politicians] should check their cars, their refrigerator parts. Every piece of sporting equipment, every bat, everything is made in China. This is the dumbest thing I['ve] ever heard." The WWD article also states that the same politicians who bashed Ralph Lauren have also voted for free trade deals. According to Fashionista, a Chicago Tribune Olympics writer added this to the argument: "Until the U.S. government starts providing funds for Olympic athletes, as every other government in the world does, Congress has no truck telling the U.S. Olympic Committee where to get its uniforms or where they should be made."
Has the issue of where the uniforms were sourced blown out of proportion? Will this issue result in more American-made goods or is this just political grandstanding?
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